Sleep Apnea Treatment

Best Sleep Apnea Treatment in Colorado

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious and deadly condition where breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep. It occurs when muscles of the throat relax and close, which blocks the airway during sleep. When a person has Central Sleep Apnea, it means that his or her brain does not send the proper signals for breathing during sleep.

Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea can lead to serious strain on the body. It can also cause health conditions such as insomnia, high blood pressure, poor sleep quality, anxiety, daytime sleepiness, stroke, or heart attack. It’s important to understand the causes and risk factors of Sleep Apnea so you can seek treatment to minimize its effects on your sleep and life quality.

Common Causes and Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, people who have one or more of the following risk factors have a greater risk of developing Sleep Apnea:

  • Endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism or polycystic ovarian syndrome because a faulty endocrine system creates hormones that can affect sleep and breathing.
  • Obesity, which is defined as a body mass index (BMI) over 30.
  • Large tonsils since this narrows the upper airways and can interfere with breathing during sleep.
  • Neuromuscular conditions such as ALS and stroke because the condition interrupts signals that the brain sends to the chest muscles and airway.
  • Kidney failure or heart disease because they cause fluid build-up in the neck that can lead to Sleep Apnea by obstructing the upper airways.
  • Genetic syndromes that cause the tongue to extend further into the back of the mouth such as Down Syndrome, cleft lip, and cleft palate.

Although people can develop Sleep Apnea at any age, the risk increases as you grow older. One reason for this is that aging causes the development of more fatty tissue in the tongue and neck. Family history and being African American, Native American, or Hispanic increase the risk as well. You cannot control any of these risk factors. However, you can choose not to engage in or to quit unhealthy lifestyle habits that increase the risk of Sleep Apnea. The most common ones include:

  • Excess alcohol consumption: Alcohol closes the upper airways by relaxing muscles in the throat and mouth. This affects how the brain controls breathing during sleep.
  • Smoking: This habit causes the upper airways to become inflamed and causes problems with breathing both while awake and while asleep.
  • Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle: Both of these lead to obesity, which is a leading risk factor in developing Sleep Apnea.

Unfortunately, you may not know that you have Sleep Apnea for quite a while because you don’t remember struggling for breath during sleep. In fact, your dentist or doctor may recognize the condition before you do. It’s also possible that your bed partner may alert you first due to your loud snoring keeping him or her awake.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Loud snoring, gasping for breath, and reduced breathing during sleep are all classic signs of Sleep Apnea. Symptoms may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Headaches upon waking up
  • Frequent waking up during the night to empty your bladder
  • Decreased sex drive or sexual dysfunction
  • Difficulty with concentration, attention, and motor skills

It’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Funtik if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

Your Dentist Can Help with Sleep Apnea

Dr. Funtik is an Airway Prosthodontist who was trained by the best Sleep Apnea experts in the country. Her training enables her to recognize the signs of aberrant breathing first, then comprehensively evaluate the patient’s condition and recommend an appropriate treatment. Airway Prosthodontics is an emerging field of airway management in dentistry. Dr. Funtik sought training as soon as it became available to provide her patients with the best possible care.

Dr. Funtik employs a systemic approach to assessing and then resolving her patients’ airway and dental issues in collaboration with the best sleep specialists in the country. You don’t have to continue to struggle with this common condition. Contact Oasis Prosthodontics today to request an appointment for a Sleep Apnea evaluation.